Judge in Amazon Suit Holds Up Microsoft's $10B Cloud Deal

Filing accuses Trump of bias, affecting decision on Pentagon contract
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 13, 2020 7:00 PM CST
Amazon Wins Suspension of Microsoft's Cloud Contract
A Pentagon spokesman criticized a judge's order Thursday temporarily freezing a cloud contract awarded to Microsoft.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

A federal judge ordered a halt Thursday to the cloud contract the Pentagon awarded to Microsoft. Amazon has argued bias in the selection of Microsoft for the contract, which could be worth as much as $10 billion over 10 years, CNBC reports. After the winner was narrowed down to Amazon and Microsoft last year, President Trump said he was looking into the bidding process in response to complaints by IBM and other companies. Trump frequently criticizes Amazon and Jeff Bezos, its founder; Bezos owns the Washington Post, which Trump says covers him unfairly. Court filings show Amazon's suit accuses Trump of attacking the company "behind the scenes," leading to Amazon's failure to win the contract. Amazon's AWS wants the Defense Department to start over on awarding of the cloud contract.

Amazon wants a deposition from Trump in the case, per MarketWatch. "President Trump has repeatedly demonstrated his willingness to use his position as President and Commander in Chief to interfere with government functions – including federal procurements – to advance his personal agenda," AWS said in a statement. A spokesman said the Pentagon is disappointed by the judge's decision to issue a temporary restraining order, which he said "deprived our warfighters of a set of capabilities they urgently need." He said the Defense Department remains committed to its decision to give the cloud contract to Microsoft, per the AP. (More cloud computing stories.)

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